Wald, Andrews rinks share lead at Junior Curling event
The Aaron Wald and Trevor Andrews rinks are tied for first place in the Minnesota Junior Curling Championship round-robin after Saturday's play at the Bemidji Curling Club.
The two teams are 5-1 heading into today's final two draws.
In Saturday night's late session, Andrews scored two in the 10th end to defeat Tony Wright 9-7, and Tyler Runing handed Wald its first loss, scoring three in the 10th for a 9-6 victory.
Trailing Wald and Andrews are Runing at 4-2, William Howieson and Wright at 3-3, Eric Johannsen at 3-4, Taylor Ausen and Tanner Blaqoue at 2-4 and Noah Fiskness at 1-6.
In Friday's evening session Wald defeated William Howieson 10-2 to improve to 4-0. The Trevor Andrews rink lost 8-7 to Tyler Runing and dropped to 4-1.
In Saturday afternoon play, Wald blanked Wright 10-0 while Andrews had a bye.
Wald dominated Howieson from the opening end Friday evening as the rink, which includes Bemidji curler Josh Bahr, scored three to assume control. Wald owned a 4-1 advantage when it captured three more in the sixth end and when Wald scored another trio in the eighth, Howieson conceded.
While Wald was coasting, Runing and Andrews staged a battle that wasn't decided until Runing scored the winning rock in the 11th end.
Andrews took a 3-1 lead in the second end and increased the cushion to 5-2 after five. Runing outscored the previously unbeaten Andrews rink 5-1 over the next four ends to take a 7-6 lead but Andrews forced overtime with a marker in the 10th.
The Andrews rink includes Bemidji curlers Trevor Andrews, Nic Wagner and Mark Fenner.
In other action Friday night Johannsen stopped Ausen 11-4 for its first win in the tournament and Blagoue nipped Fiskness 9-7.
The Johannsen rink features Bemidji curlers Eric Johannsen, Micah Johnson, Joel Johannsen and Brian Oakes.
Saturday afternoon Wald scored four in the sixth to forge a 5-0 lead over Wright and iced the win with a steal of five in the eighth.
Runing cemented its win over Blagoue with three in the ninth while Johannsen stole points in the 10th and 11th ends to rally past Howieson 6-5.
Ausen padded a 7-5 lead after seven ends against Fisknesswith a solo marker in the eighth and four in the ninth
In Saturday's late draw Blagoue faced Howieson, Andrews met Wright, Wald battled Runing and Johanssen matched rocks with Fiskness.
Today's 9 a.m. draw matches Wright against Runing, Andrew against Howieson, Wald against Fiskness and Blagoue against Ausen.
The 2 p.m. battles pit Johanssen against Runing, Blagoue against Wright, Wald against Andrews and Ausen against Howieson.
If tie-breakers are required they will be played 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. today.
The top two teams after the round-robin and the tie-breakers qualify for the Junior National tournament which will be Jan. 29-Feb. 5 in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The Cory Christensen and Miranda Solem rinks have earned berths in the national women's tournament as they owned records of 5-0 and 4-1 heading into the final draw late Saturday.
As is the case with the men's division, the top two women's teams earn tickets to Fairbanks and with only Saturday's late draw remaining neither team could be caught by the Rachel Humenick (1-4) and Courtney Osbakken (0-5) squads.
Saturday afternoon Christensen stopped Osbakken 13-2 and Solem defeated Humeniuk 10-3.
The women's tournament ended late Saturday with Osbakken facing Humeniuk and Solem battling Christensen.
Minnesota Junior Curling Regional
Wald 5-1, Andrews 5-1, Runing 4-2, Howieson 3-3, Wright 3-3, Johannsen 3-4, Blagoue 2-4, Ausen 2-4, Fiskness 1-6
Late draw: Johanssen 11, Ausen 4; Blagoue 9, Fiskness 7; Wald 10, Howieson 2; Runing 8, Andrews 7
2 p.m. draw: Wald 10, Wright 0; Johannsen 6, Howieson 5; Runing 8, Blagoue 4; Ausen 12, Fiskness 5
Late draw: Howieson 12, Blagoue 3; Andrews 9, Wright 7; Runing 9, Wald 6; Johanssen 10, Fiskness 8
9 a.m. draw: Wright vs. Runing; Andrews vs. Howieson; Wald vs. Fiskness; Blagoue vs. Ausen
2 p.m. draw: Johanssen vs. Runing; Blagoue vs. Wright; Wald vs. Andrews; Ausen vs. Howieson
Christensen 5-1, Solem 5-1, Humeniuk 2-4, Osbakken 0-6
2 p.m. draw: Christensen 13, Osbakken 2; Solem 10, Humeniuk 3
7 p.m. draw: Solem 12, Christensen 2; Humeniuk 12, Osbakken 6